By Tony Maglio
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - "Downton Abbey" will be returning to American TV sets on January 5, 2014, Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said Tuesday at the PBS Annual Meeting.
It will run for eight weeks, through February 23.
The upstairs-downstairs period British series is the highest-rated drama in PBS history.
Twenty-four million viewers tuned into the third season of "Downton Abbey," and its February 17 finale was the Number 1 show on television, beating all broadcast and cable in primetime.
Season 4 will see the return of Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson and several new actors, including the show's first black character, a jazz singer played by Gary Carr, along with opera diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The newbies will join Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle.